Dean Legge/Dawg Post

What We Are Hearing

ATHENS - Updates on UGA's Athletic Board, Devonte Wyatt, Kevin Swint, Zamir White, John Fitzpatrick, Justin Fields and more...

The big recruiting news all week has been about Justin Fields and where his recruitment currently stands. The five-star quarterback took multiple visits this week, including visits to Georgia on Monday and Auburn on Tuesday. Fields will be visiting Florida State on Wednesday, and will be competing at IMG Academy with his 7-on-7 team this Saturday in Bradenton, Florida. Look for Fields to make a visit to Florida on his way home after the 7-on-7 tournament.

Georgia, Florida, Auburn and Florida State look to be the final four teams for the elite prospect out of Harrison. With Fields taking these visits this week, there’s a chance a commitment could come sooner than later when he arrives back home. There is no current decision date at this time.

As we reported earlier this week, elite 2019 back Noah Cain of IMG Academy (FL) will be visiting UGA on Wednesday. Cain visited Georgia in January when he was in town for the True19 game, and he always speaks highly of the Georgia staff. With Georgia taking two backs in the 2018 class, there’s a chance they only take 1 in the 2019 class if they need too. Cain is one of the top overall prospects in the country, and while Georgia looks to be in his top group, they will have to fight off Ohio State, Michigan and Texas in the end. Cain will be visiting Ohio State this weekend.

John FitzPatrick confirmed to Dawg Post that he will be in Athens on Wednesday. He is a top Georgia target who has visited Athens multiple times so far this season. He and his family had a great time at G-day, and he admitted after the visit that he feels he is a priority for the Bulldogs in this class. He has great size and had been impressive at multiple camps this spring. UCLA looks to be Georgia’s biggest competition at the moment and FitzPatrick will be visiting UCLA on Thursday. Look for a decision to come at some point this summer.

The big team competing in Athens on Wednesday is Callaway (GA). 2020 ATH Cartavious Bigbsy and 2019 OL Keiondre Jones were both in Athens last week, and will be there again today. Bigsby is already a national prospect and has a close relationship with running backs coach Dell McGee. Jones grew up watching the Bulldogs, and while Clemson is high on his list, the Bulldogs could be tough to beat in the end.

Carrolton LB Kevin Swint’s reaction to the attention he’s been getting on the recruiting trail lately? 

“Thank you, if some one would have said this would happen a year ago. I would think they were telling me bald face lie,” he said. 

Swint’s latest offer, Ohio State, came Wednesday night. 

We still think the Bulldogs are in the best position to sign elite running back Zamir White on June 27th. Ohio State appears to be the team most likely to get an upset win in the competition for the commitment, but UGA has to like the position it is in right now. 

On to matters in Athens. Track and Field saved the Bulldogs from their worst finish in nearly two decades in the all-sports Directors’ Cup. With only the College World Series remaining, Georgia is listed as the No. 13 overall program in the country. UGA was listed at No. 21 on June 8th, but flew past a slew of schools to No. 13. 

But the Bulldogs will be jumped at least by Texas A&M, which is playing in the College World Series on Sunday. So UGA decided to spike the football on the athletic year and sent a release out to the media. 

That press release stated that UGA will finish in the top 20 for the 19th year in a row. Only five other programs - Florida, Stanford, North Carolina, UCLA and Texas - have managed to accomplish that feat… and that is certainly an accomplishment. 

But that doesn’t mean all observers are convinced things are going well inside of athletics. Don Leebern III, the son of Board of Regents (BOR) member Donald M. Leebern, Jr., is cycling off UGA’s athletic board. Keep a very keen eye on new board members (Kessel Stelling) who have also served on the Board of Regents who are cycling on to UGA’s athletic board. 

The make up of the UGA athletic board, while not nearly as important as that of the BOR in terms of the long-term trajectory of UGA and the athletic department as well as those who work in athletics, is changing. Needless to say that while the UGA athletic board is limited in its power compared to the BOR, I have been told by numerous folks behind the scenes to expect a more active and vocal presence on the UGA athletic board. 

And what that active and vocal presence will be like in the future is something to very much pay attention to.

Devonte Wyatt is not enrolled at UGA right now, and is waiting on his SAT scores. His high school coach, Brian Montgomery, let me know last week that Wyatt had done all he needed to do in the classroom as it relates to qualifying. This is now just about the test score. 

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